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India to G20—it is committed to saving planet and people from environmental disaster

A changing climate is impacting people and cities (Photo: Rahul Kumar)

The G20 nations are holding a crucial environment meeting in Naples under the shadow of devastating forest fires and floods that have taken hundreds of lives and caused immense destruction of property.

Addressing the G20 environmental meeting, being held in Naples, Italy, Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Bhupender Yadav said that India is committed to working with the G20 countries for a better world. Yadav said that India believes in leaving  no one behind and "stands together in solidarity with the global community in mounting a strong and effective response that secures the health of the planet and its people".

India also stressed upon the fact that tackling the environmental crisis needs a collective global action in which the developing countries need more support.

According to a statement by the Ministry of Environment: "On ‘Nature Based Solutions’ (NBS) and sustainable finance, the Indian Environment Minister said that the contexts and perspectives should be guided by the stage of economic development, national circumstances and priorities, and must not come at the cost of developing countries’ competitiveness, equity and development".

India also reinforced its commitment to tackling marine litter. Yadav told the G20 environment summit that India has been taking voluntary regulatory measures on plastic waste management and also that the country had separately piloted a resolution in the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA) over the issue of addressing single-use plastic products pollution.

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Dr Anjal Prakash, Research Director at the Indian School of Business, told India Narrative that it is important for India to participate in all such discussions at the global level. "It is a globally connected world therefore India has a vital role in such discussions. It is important for us to be in such groups so that we can formulate our policies and responses according to what the world is thinking on climate".

He adds that the climate change realities are closer home now for the Western countries. "The devastating floods in Germany had earlier happened almost 50 years back. Many of these countries are not prepared for such problems. But the societies in the South are more resilient towards the climate crisis, therefore the rich nations should commit more technology and financing towards climate change issues".

Climate change has taken priority this year after US President Joe Biden put America back into the Paris Agreement and organised a two-day virtual summit with world leaders on April 22-23. In fact, the US Special Presidential Envoy for climate, John Kerry, visited Delhi to discuss the critical issue.

World leaders are also gearing up for the Glasgow Summit on Climate Change to be held later this year as environmental problems mount for the world.

Recently addressing a session with former US Prime Minister Tony Blair, Indian External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar had said that India does not have too many climate sceptics. He also had stressed: "The issue isn't recognising the problem, it is resourcing the solution. The real worry is if you look at the history of how we have dealt with climate change, we have seen promises year after year, conference after conference, we have seen a continuous inability to live up to the promises."